The Forces for Change campaign has launched, focusing on mental health support for veterans in Wales.

Hafal launches summer campaign, Forces for Change

The campaign, in collaboration with Bipolar UK and other mental health charities, will focus on helping armed and blue light service veterans in Wales to access mental health support.

Forces for Change is being led by men and women who have worked in the armed or emergency services or have family who have served. Some have personal experience of mental health issues or have cared for someone who does. The veterans hope to:

  • Reach out to others from the armed and emergency services and provide them with information on recovery and sources of support.
  • Listen to other veterans' experiences and ideas, using what they learn to improve veteran support services in Wales.
  • Identify current services across Wales, highlighting gaps and also areas of good practice.

Forces for Change also wants to publish a toolkit showing the experiences of veterans and their families, including both the successes and challenges they've faced. The campaign will also publish a report making recommendations for improving services across Wales.

Rebekah Burns, Bipolar UK's Youth and Mentoring Manager, grew up on military bases and later became a military wife. She has experienced PTSD and said of the campaign:

"The aim of our campaign is to connect with our fellow veterans and their families across Wales who may be trying to cope in silence, and to signpost them to the veterans services and mental health services who can help.

“It’s about supporting our fellow veterans and their families to take the next steps to improve their mental health, and to get the support they deserve. And importantly, it’s about reducing the stigma around asking for help and accessing services."

Forces for Change will then tour Wales, covering 22 counties during the summer and through to October. The full timetable is available here.

Hafal, Hafal Crossroads and Bipolar UK are also working alongside CAIS, Care after Combat, Carers UK, Change Step, Diverse Cymru, National Centre for Mental Health, Royal British Legion, and Veteran NHS Wales.

Find out more about Hafal's campaign and how to get involved by visiting forcesforchange.wales

Download the Forces for Change posters in English and in Welsh.